The Case for a Crappy Phone

I’ve read several articles written by people who gave up their smartphones for a period. One person went back to a flip phone and another only used his smartphone for calls and texts. This is my experience, only I didn’t willfully give up my smartphone. My smartphone gave up on me.

I had an HTC M8 through T-Mobile for several years. Laura was using my phone to watch YouTube videos in the tub because her phone was dead. Not for the first time, it fell in the water. This time it seemed like it might not recover, so I jumped at the chance to get a new phone. I canceled my T-Mobile service and ordered the new (at the time) Samsung Galaxy from Tracfone.

As a sign of things to come, the delivery was several weeks late due to a backorder I wasn’t made aware of. I received my phone a few days before leaving for vacation, on which the phone I’d waited nearly a month for stopped working completely. I sent it back after vacation and ordered a cheaper LG phone from Tracfone, a model Laura had used several years earlier. Remembering her experience with the phone, I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but I didn’t realize just how soon it would go.

However, the effect on my life has been positive. The poor camera quality means I’m not reaching for my phone to capture every event through a lens. At WrestleMania three years ago, I took a lot of videos and pictures, but that hampered my ability to enjoy the event in the moment. Now I only use the camera to take pictures of my next library book’s location.

I have an SD card in my phone, but I can’t choose to send newly downloaded apps to the card. I have a phone with limited storage and an SD card I can’t really use. If I want to download an app I have to delete another. I had apps for everything on my old phone. The only apps I have now are Twitter, three sports apps and an app for my upcoming marathon. The hardest apps to part with were the news apps. The fear of missing out was strong, but I’ve made due. Twitter and Google news alerts are good for keeping up with headlines, and I can always research more if interested or necessary.

Speaking of social media, my crappy phone made it easier to disconnect. I’d wanted to delete Facebook for some time, but it was always at my fingertips. The hassle to load the app on my crappy phone gave me the final nudge to delete the app.

Phones are excellent time-wasters, but it’s easier to pick up a book instead of my phone when I know there’s a good chance it will just shutdown randomly.

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